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Deborah Lee James: Air Force to Renew Base Closure, Aircraft Retirement Campaigns

Deborah Lee James
Deborah Lee James

The U.S. Air Force will ask the new Congress for authority to shed excess infrastructure and divest aging aircraft in its fiscal 2016 budget request, Federal News Radio reported Monday.

Jared Serbu writes Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters last week that the branch wants to free up funds for its older fleets in order to reinvest in manpower, readiness and modernization programs.

“If sequestration does return in FY ’16, it will have very, very serious and devastating effects on some parts of our Air Force,” she added, according to the station.

Mark Welsh, chief of staff at the Air Force, believes the A-10 program will not be sustainable for the long term.

Congress voted in December 2014 to reject the branch’s proposals to conduct another round of base closings and retire aircraft, but James aims to continue efforts to urge lawmakers to support the service’s decisions, according to the report.

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